Females Rocking the Tech-World Under 35 - Cheryl Yeoh

Ever wondered what it is like to be a female in the tech-world? Women formed less than 20 percent of the STEM (which stands for science, tech, engineering and math) jobs in the United States with tech companies like Google filling just 17 percent of its tech jobs with women.

From the left to right: Prerna Pant, Krystal Choo and Cheryl Yeoh

Though some of us might have heard or even be familiar with several of the world’s most  influential female names in tech-world like Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Marissa Meyer, the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo! and Gwynne Shotwell the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX.

We prefer to look closer to home here in Asia and speak to three women in the tech sector who are on our watch list, are already rocking the tech scenes barely under 35 years of age.

First up we have Cheryl Yeoh, aged 32 years old and former Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC, Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Cheryl holds a Masters in Engineering and is well reputed as a seasoned entrepreneur. She co-founded her first tech company Reclip It a social discovery site in 2012 which was acquired by Walmart Labs in the United States.

TS: Do you think it makes any difference in your techopreneurship journey as a female? Elaborate.

CY: If you think it does, then it does. If you don't become too sensitive to some biases and all the subtle ways you're being treated differently, then it wouldn't and shouldn't affect you.

TS: Name one factor that could positively impact greater diversity for women in tech-world and leadership roles in the tech sector.

CY: For parents to encourage their daughters to learn how to code take on more leadership roles from an early age onwards.

TS: Name one tech-world figure that you personally look up to as a role model of inspiration.

CY: For South East Asia, it would have to be Khailee Ng, Managing Director of 500 Startups.

TS: What would you say to other females out there aspiring to make a difference in tech sector?

CY: Don't overthink and overanalyse stuff. And don't just keep talking about something. Action speaks louder than words, so just jump right in and don't look back. You're perfectly capable of breaking conventions and anything is possible if you just put your mind to it.

TS: If you can time travel, what would you have done differently? Name 2 things.

CY: Truly, I'll change nothing at all. Every mistake made is a lesson learned and only made me stronger.

TS: In one sentence tell us what you would like to see in the year 2030.

CY: Despite being able to fly from New York City to Sydney in 30 minutes being made affordable by 2030, and an elixir for youth and a cure to cancer found, I would like to see more people connecting face-to-face with each other more and being more self-aware.

Look out for our one-on-one series with two other female entrepreneurs: Prerna Pant of Circus Social and Krystal Choo of Wander.

By Jason Tan / March 3, 2016 01:38PM GMT+8 Singapore

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